I just finished my final day of my first full school year as a school OT, since I started in April 2011. I have all sorts of ideas/plans/thoughts on how to do things differently next year, seeing as how hindsight is 20/20, right? Technically there is one week left of school, but I have to go early for a special event in Scandinavia! I have been working many, many, many hours at night trying to catch up on all the documentation. I got behind and never caught up on the redundant system. IE I have it in one area, but never spent time to do it in the redundant area (grrr) so now I am paying for that.
Some of the things I want to do differently I TALKED about last summer but never implemented, either because of time or fatigue or blah blah blah. I did learn SO much this year, a phenomenal amount, but of course I have so much more to know/learn. I have so many resources I want to examine closely this summer! It's all scaffolding – it's like I look at things and can't memorize them yet because too much scaffolding isn't there, but eventually can go back and it makes more sense/is easier to memorize because the data has gotten filled in with experience/time etc.
Some of my goals for next year….
1. Try not to schedule kids during times of day that I know I am typically dragging, if at all possible, lol. Save that for paperwork/other things.
2. Try to be better about tabulating minutes I'm spending on e-mails or in quick convos, as they add up…
3. Provide more homework.
4. Do all my documentation DAILY in ALL redundant spots.
5. Put together my “go to” items, print or copy a bunch of them, and save them all in one organized spot, rather than constantly re-searching for stuff.
6. Start the year with every single one of my kids, based on their cognitive level, knowing exactly my name, my title, what OT is, why they are coming to OT, and what their goals are, and making sure I have phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all parents.
7. Printing out all goals in a format that lets me write directly on that piece of paper on their progress, and trying to divide up my sessions into always specifically addressing a goal for part of it, and then another part of it working on skills that address that goal. IE if the goal is board copying….specifically spend a few mins COPYING from the board, but then another few minutes doing visual motor tasks, near/far tasks, etc, that are foundational.
8. Work on rewards that are more sticker based or “time” based rather than candy….and ideally try to use my psych background to figure out ways to fade extrinsic rewards into more intrinsic rewards….
9. Have children who are working on handwriting repeat an identical 1-2 sentences every month and keep it carefully filed so each month we can compare progress.
10. Continue trying to incorporate more academics into each session,and not be a “clinic” OT in a school. I've come a long way in that arena, but can keep going.
11. Collaborate more with teachers to ensure more carryover and allow the teacher to feel more vested in OT time.
12. Try to push into the classroom rather than pull out as often as possible
13. Do workshops for K, 1, 2, for each of my four schools…have done one school and got great feedback…we also did instructional assistants for the district….
I have been working SO much on this paperwork……I really wanted to be done by tonight but alas, I have one more school to go, paperwork wise. Tomorrow I am doing a hike with some speech coworkers and lunch, then nails done for the trip, then some shopping for the trip, and then back to work!! I also need to organize all my toys!! I am a toy monster. Today I was sitting in a conference room and thank goodness we have a lazy janitor, as I spotted one of my mini figurines on the floor in front of me!! Yay! (Sometimes I work in there with kids if all other rooms are taken)
I am um, obviously, just rambling. I'm tired. I'm stressed. I am super glad to go on this trip, although part of me wishes I had more time before I left to work on getting affairs in order, but when I get back I hope to get on the OT bandwagon and get lots of work done to help start off the school year better. And hey robbers, other people live here, so me going on a trip means nothing. Just sayin'.
Ok my battery is dying. Good night….